The Associated Press reports that unemployment is dropping — in three-quarters of states. But in California, the most populous and the largest state in the country, things are not getting better:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate fell in two-thirds of U.S. states last month, evidence that modest economic growth is boosting hiring in most areas of the country.
And in many states, unemployment has fallen well below the national average, which was 8.1 percent last month. The rate was under 7 percent in 22 states in April. That compares with only 13 states in April 2011.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped in 37 states in April, the most in three months. Unemployment rose in 5 states and was unchanged in eight.
Nationally, the unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point since August. Employers have added a million jobs over the past five months, though the pace of hiring slowed in March and April.
The national rate has also declined because some people gave up looking for work. The government counts people as unemployed only if they are actively looking for a job.
The states with the lowest unemployment continue to be in the upper Midwest with small populations. North Dakota’s rate was 3 percent in April, the lowest in the country. It was followed by Nebraska at 3.9 percent and South Dakota at 4.3 percent.